What you need to know about having an up-to-date Will: Your FAQs answered
Friday, 2nd February 2024

With a new year upon us, many people are reflecting on how they can make an impact on the world. Having an accurate and up-to-date Will is an important way to set your legacy in stone for future generations.

While creating or updating your Will might seem daunting, it’s actually a simple process that you can start today. Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about Wills, answered with support from our partner Gathered Here.

What is a Will?

A Will typically includes information about who should inherit any money or assets you have, what arrangements you would like for your funeral, and how your children or pets should be looked after.

What happens if I don’t have a Will?

If someone passes away without having made a valid Will, it’s known as dying intestate. If this happens, the deceased estate will be administered according to state intestacy laws. These laws vary slightly in each Australian state and territory, but typically, your estate will be split between your spouse and children. If you have no spouse or children, the state will then determine eligible relatives. If you have no eligible relatives, the government will receive your estate.

How often should I update my Will?

You should review your Will every few years, after major sales and purchases, and if close relationships change. For example, you may wish to review it following the sale of a house, a marriage or divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a beneficiary. To make minor changes, you can use a codicil. A codicil is attached to your existing Will and outlines smaller amendments. If you have more significant changes to make, it’s probably a better idea to write an entirely new Will.

Where should I store my Will?

Your Will is an important legal document. Keeping it safe is of the utmost importance. You need to choose somewhere that will prevent accidental loss, unintentional damage or deliberate interference – but it also needs to be easily found when the time comes. Once you’ve chosen a safe place to store your Will , tell your executor, and any other trusted individuals, where your Will is stored and how they can access it. Make multiple copies of your Will and keep them in various secure locations.

What does a gift in my Will mean for Parkinson’s research?

Including a gift in your Will to Shake It Up is a simple way to make an enormous difference for people living with Parkinson’s, allowing us to commit to funding ground-breaking Australian research. No matter the amount, a planned gift to Shake It Up allows Australia’s leading researchers to focus their attention on finding better treatments and ultimately, a cure for Parkinson’s. Not only will your gift help the 200,000 Australian’s living with Parkinson’s, it will also leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

We’ve partnered with Gathered Here to give you the opportunity to write your Will completely for free. By answering a few simple questions from the comfort of your own home, it can be done in under 10 minutes and you’ll have free, unlimited updates for life. Here’s what you need to know about creating your Will online.

What is an online Will?

With an online Will, you fill out a questionnaire with information about yourself, your assets and your preferred arrangements. Then nominate someone (or multiple people) you trust to carry out your wishes. It takes about 10 minutes all up, and through Gathered Here, it’s free.

Should I make an online Will?

If you don’t currently have a Will, you should write an online Will as soon as possible. There may come a time in your life when a solicitor-drafted Will is more appropriate. But having an online Will is far better than having none. Online Wills are quick, easy and though Gathered Here, completely free to write. You can update them as many times as you like – for no cost.

Online Wills are best for people in relatively straight-forward situations. If you own a business, have a self-managed super fund, or have a blended family, it may be better to speak to a solicitor. If you have more complex needs, Gathered Here’s legal team can also help you write a Will to suit your circumstances.

Are online Wills legal?

When completed properly, online Wills are legal. If you’re using Gathered Here, just follow the instructions carefully and fill in the sections to reflect your wishes. Once you’re done, print your Will and sign it in front of two independent people. That means they can’t be included in the Will, and neither can their children, dependents, or spouses. These people are known as witnesses – they’ll also have to sign it. This is called ‘executing’ the Will. When completed and executed properly, you have a legal Will. It’s best if everyone signs the Will with the same pen, so there’s no doubt that everyone was present when it was signed.

Download a Free Guide to Online Wills

For a confidential discussion to find out more about leaving a gift for Parkinson’s research, or to notify us of an existing gift in your Will, please complete the form below.

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